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IN > OIEI > ID&S > Step-by-Step Tutorials

Adaptive Release

Adaptive Release is a Blackboard Learn tool that allows you to set one or more conditions that must be met before a content page, folder, course module, or test is made available to the students. One common use case is when the instructor wants to make sure a student has passed a test on Module 1 before proceeding to Module 2 content. You access the adaptive release criteria by clicking on the pulldown menu next to the document or folder.

Note: It's easy to go overboard with Adaptive Release and, even with Blackboard's Date Management tool, this can create a lot of future work when the course needs to be updated for a new semester. Our advice is to use Adaptive Release primarily at the top level folders (Weeks, Modules, etc.). It's also important to remember that if you release a document or folder that is nested inside an unreleased folder, it won't be visible to students. Turn off Edit Mode to quickly see what's visible to your students.

Release Criteria can be any of the following:

Example: Let's say that you require students to pass the Module 1 Quiz with an 80% grade before the Module 2 Content Folder is released to the student.

    1. Create the Module 1 Quiz. (A Grade Center column is automatically created when you save the quiz.)
    2. Ensure that Edit Mode is turned ON.
    3. Create the Module 2 Content Folder (content can to be added later) and select Adaptive Release from the pull-down menu.
    4. Scroll down to the GRADE section of the Adaptive Release criteria.
      1. Select the Grade Center column for Module 1 Quiz.
      2. Click the Percent button and select Greater Than or Equal To from the pull down menu, and enter "80" in the box.
      3. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

Note: After you have set up Adaptive Release, the Module 2 Content Folder will be hidden from students and will only be visible to you when Edit Mode is ON.

Adaptive Release Advanced allows you to set multiple conditions for the release of an item. For example, you could say that the Module 2 folder is only available after a student has passed the Module 1 quiz with 80% and the date is October 1, 2021 or later. Both conditions have to be true before the item will be released, so this is a way to further narrow the release criteria. Use Advanced only when you need more than one release condition.


Any place where you're using Adaptive Release is a potential place to award students a badge. For example, if your Module 2 content is only available after completing the quiz on Module 1 with an 80% or better, you can award a badge for successful Module 1 completion. These incremental awards within the course give students a sense of accomplishment and are part of what some education experts call "gamification."

Learn more about badging within a Blackboard course.